“If Marshall McLuhan were to rejoin us today, he would be stunned at how much has changed so quickly. …Your Membrane text does the update exactly as he would. …The integration of text with art work made me think at first of (what is for me) the best of Arthur Kroker… The art work by Marshall Soules is nothing short of amazing. He’s a sort of Wyndham Lewis, Marc Chagall, and Picasso rolled into one. …The text is masterly, always marrying precision and elegance with phrases such as ‘ripples of sensibility,’ “global epic of extremism,” the notion of pattern recognition flipping into paranoia… Well done!”
W. Terrence Gordon, author of Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding, dramatist and essayist
“It takes a visionary to be able to make sense of the blur of the world whirling ever faster around us. The drawn images add another dimension to the words. …It takes a non-linear poetic mind to describe the new normal of our existence. …Loved the way this tied in Rimbaud and the ‘cusp artists.’
Diane Keating, poet, novelist, author of The Crying Out
“This is a great piece of work: a really timely synthesis of much of B.W.P’s thinking over the years. And the Cuban street-art plays at so many levels (I particularly like the irony).”
Jim Berry, artist and entrepreneur
“The Charge is by far the best thing Powe´s written since McLuhan and Frye, sweeping in scope, finely tuned, and appropriate in style, deeply provocative in thought.”
Wilfred Cude, author of The PhD Trap and Weapons of Mass Disruption
From the Global Village and the Global Theatre to the Global Membrane
Prose Percepts, Lyric Responses by B.W. Powe, in collaboration with Marshall Soules, on NEW MEDIA, EMPATHY, IDENTITY, REFUGEES, NATIONALISM, THE DONALD TRUMP PHENOMENON, JUSTIN TRUDEAU, A-LITERACY, THE WILD INTERNET, PARANOIA, POETRY AND INTIMACY, BOB DYLAN, PATTI SMITH…
Street Art Photos by Marshall Soules
To the Editors of the Stouffville Free Press: How One Wrong Vowel Can Change the Meaning of a Sentence
In your kind and generous article about my work in your last issue, I found a serious and misleading typo.
In the second column, paragraph two, when Hannalore Volpe cites The Guardian piece that quoted me about Canada´s promise and post-nationalism, the copy says:
“…its connection to blood and soul…”
The line should read:
“…its connection to blood and soil…”
The error, I realized, was in The Guardian essay. Nevertheless, its repetition here concerned me.
That emphasis on “soil” is all-important in this context. I was referring to the Neo-Fascist declaration that a state should be built on “blood and soil.” And I was placing the Canadian cultural-political experiment in passionate opposition to this racist notion. It´s a nativist obsession which, tragically, is gaining currency again in North America and Europe. The notion of “blood and soil” is to me soulless–without compassion, a sense of justice and cosmopolitanism, lacking in generosity, warmth, welcome, kindness, and a respect for Otherness.
One wrong vowel in a word can make a damaging difference. The Guardian´s inaccurate use of the word “soil” creates the impression that I´m exalting Canada in an anti-spiritual way. This is not the case. A quick glance at any of my recent books–including the ones that Ms Volpe has so faithfully covered in your pages–would tell you how deeply concerned I am with the soul. Truly my work is about a wrestling with what means to be charged with the soul´s poetry.
B. W. Powe
Department of English
York University, Toronto
Where Seas and Fables Meet is an extraordinary book. Brave and beautifully written. Your reflections on the Structure I found very powerful, prophetic. I loved your pages on Kubrick, as I am a fan too. Your observations are illuminating. The first piece of mine to be published was an essay on Kubrick that I wrote for the web magazine Reality Sandwich, so I felt a strong kinship when I read this material. I could go on about the rest of the book — the parabolic stories, the aphorisms. I found it very moving and inspiring.
Marshall Soules, writer, artist, scholar, critic (2017)